Congratulations to Nicolas Suárez Zamorano for a superb thesis defence!
This past Tuesday, October 23rd 2018, Nicolas Suárez Zamorano successfully defended his thesis entitled “The Gut Microbiota Modulates the White Adipose Tissue Functional Remodeling”, which was awarded with High Distinction.
Nicolas has been a member of the laboratory of Prof. Mirko Trajkovski since May 2014. There, his work was focused on discovering how microorganisms living in our digestive system (known as gut microbiota) can alter fatty tissues in our bodies. In particular, he was interested in how white fat can undergo a process named “browning” whereby ordinary fat cells, called white adipocytes change from being simple fat storage containers, into beige or brown cells capable of rapidly burning fat to generate heat. As activating this process could help treat obesity and related conditions, including diabetes, knowing more about what triggers or modulates this process is of high therapeutic interest. In a high-impact paper, which he published as co-first author in the prominent journal Nature Medicine only one and a half years after beginning his PhD, Nicolas found that depletion of gut microbiota in mice, either by feeding them antibiotics, or by raising them in germ-free conditions led to the “browning” of white fat and weight loss in obese mice. Interestingly, he found that this effect was mediated by the greater abundance of anti-inflammatory immune cells within the fat tissues, highlighting a new relationship between the microbiota and fatty tissue biology. In addition, Nicolas participated in writing a review as well as in several other projects and collaborations, leading to 4 additional publications during his PhD, including articles in the high-quality journals Cell, Cell Metabolism and Frontiers in Endocrinology. Finally, Nicolas was an active participant among the institute, where he helped organize numerous social and academic events such as the third edition of the PhD retreat.
Congratulations again Nicolas, for an impressively prolific PhD, and best wishes for your bright future!
Posted by: P. Nunes-Hasler, photograph by C. HenryNovember 18, 2018